Tendencies and Operating Systems

What is an Operating System

Even if you know nothing about computers, the fact that you are reading this online means u know that there exists something called hardware and something called software. As it pertains to your computer, hardware examples can be your mouse or screen (blah blah blah) while software examples can be your internet explorer or windows xp. Software is basically that thing that makes your hardware do all the cool stuff they do.

Briefly, an operating system is a software that enables you to actually interact with your computer in any way. An operating system decides what happens on the screen, for example, when you move your mouse; it makes the mouse pointer to move on your screen as well. The thing to note is that the decision of what happens after moving your mouse is up to the Operating System. In most operating systems, moving your mouse makes the Operating System to make the mouse pointer move accordingly. Therefore, there can exist an operating system that may decide to do something else when you move your mouse (I will like to see that someday); it all depends on the person writing that operating system software.

What is Tendency?

I couldn’t find a better word to use so I chose “Tendency”. Tendency, here, means a person’s inclinations towards external stimuli. In other words, what a person is likely to do after an event.

For example, there is a guy called Adam. Adam is known to be a very temperamental who could easily get in to a physical fight over events that seem as trivial someone as stepping on his foot (with or without apologies afterwards). Then we can say that one of Adam’s tendencies is that if someone steps on Adam’s foot, Adam will fight.

A second example is due, let us call the second person Eve. Eve is scared of cats; she had a dream that she will be killed by a cat-attack and she believes it. It is safe to say that if you were to be talking to Eve, and a cat approaches the two of you, Eve is likely to flee. One of Eve’s tendencies is to flee when a cat approaches her. The event is the cat approaching and the tendency is to flee.

Regardless of the reason why Adam fights and why Eve flees, the underpinning element that makes these decisions in them is their minds (or memory of a bad feline dream).

Everyone has a tendency that is a product of their mind. Some tendencies are more innate while others are more superfluous. Innate tendencies are like to look for food when hungry, to take your hands away from a boiling water, to run as fast as you can when targeted by a tiger (or just faint). Superfluous tendencies are like the examples of Adam and Eve above.

How they Relate

Your body and flesh is the Hardware and your mind is the software. In this case, your mind is your operating system. Without indulging in to the debate of who writes the rules of your operating system, we can agree that both computer OS (Operating System) and your mind’s OS get updated; the first may be by Windows and the second may be by your experiences.

The Big Idea  

What if you can re-program yourself? Actually you can, see brain plasticity.

Whatever it is that you want to modify about yourself, you can (I don’t mean plastic surgery). Do you want to be a “nicer” (or “meaner”) person, braver (or more cowardly), more generous (or stingier)? It turns out you can reprogram yourself.

By nicer I don’t mean just to act nice, I mean the tendency to be nice; the same for the all other character types. Taking brave for example; assuming you are scared of dogs. You can act brave by staying put when a dog is barking at you, all the while wetting your pants. Or you can be brave (by having the tendency to be brave) by staying put and not worrying about your pants. Since this is a talk about tendencies, the question becomes what will you do when you wake up in wherever-land and find out there is only a dog and you?

Operating Systems, for the most part, decide what a computer does without “thinking”. Tendency means what a person would do without (or before) conscious decision making. In Hausa, Tendency will mean “abun da za kayi tsakanin ka da allah”.


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